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Tokkemon

Opposition parties topple Harper government

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Stephen Harper accused the opposition of forcing an unwanted election at a time of economic uncertainty Friday, while his Liberal rival framed himself as the only alternative to the Conservatives in the upcoming election.

 

The speeches from the major party leaders came less than an hour after Harper's minority government was toppled by a non-confidence motion in Parliament.

 

"If you vote for the NDP, if you vote for the Bloc and if you vote for the Greens, you'll get more of this: more contempt for democracy, more neglect of the priorities of Canadian families," said Ignatieff, speaking in the foyer of the House of Commons.

 

"The only alternative to a Conservative government is a compassionate, responsible Liberal government."

 

Just moments before Harper and Ignatieff spoke, all three of the opposition parties voted in favour of a historic Liberal motion focusing on a committee report that the Conservatives had acted in contempt of Parliament.

 

Prior to Ignatieff's comments, Harper accused the opposition of forming a coalition and said he was "disappointed" that Canadians would be heading to the polls for the fourth election in only seven years.

 

Harper also voiced concern that the opposition had decided to dismiss the Conservative budget -- which was released this week -- outright.

 

"There was nothing, absolutely nothing in the budget that the opposition could not, or should not, have supported," Harper said.

 

"Unfortunately Mr. Ignatieff and his coalition partners in the NDP and Bloc Quebecois made abundantly that they had already decided they wanted to force an election instead."

 

But NDP Leader Jack Layton dismissed that claim, saying his party had "made some very practical, reasonable suggestions" for the budget.

 

"But sadly, Mr. Harper has demonstrated that he and his Conservatives have really no interest in working with other parties. He made a choice, and that choice was to take us into an election."

 

It's expected that the leaders' comments will form a blueprint for their strategies in the upcoming election campaign, as each attempt to sidestep responsibility for the vote.

 

Much talk has already surfaced about Conservative attacks focusing on the spectre of a "coalition" between the NDP, Bloc and Liberals if another minority House is elected.

 

While Ignatieff shied away from the coalition question and said Friday that he was running to lead the country, his NDP counterpart appeared to leave the door open to the scenario.

 

"Our record is very clear -- we do work with other parties," Layton said.

 

"I'm running to lead the largest party in the House of Commons and then to work with the mandate that Canadians give me, reaching out to other parties as required."

 

He also called the Conservative government "intransigent" and said it won't work with the other parties.

 

"We'll be out there working as hard as we can to defeat as many Conservatives as we can from one end of this country to the other."

 

Following several weeks of partisan acrimony in the House, the vote passed 156 to 145, triggering the fifth election in just over a decade.

 

It's expected that Harper will now visit Gov. Gen David Johnston on Saturday at 9 a.m. to ask for the dissolution of Canada's 40th Parliament, citing his defeated government's loss of parliamentary confidence.

 

Canadians will likely go to the polls on May 2 for a federal election, following a minimum, 36-day election campaign.

 

Earlier in the day, during a fiery debate in the House of Commons, Liberal Leader Michael Ignatieff said the Conservatives were out of touch with the needs of Canadians.

 

Conservative House Leader John Baird fired back, accusing the Liberals of making a power grab through a coalition with the NDP and the Bloc Quebecois. It's expected that those attacks will frame each party's messaging in the upcoming campaign.

 

The non-confidence motion went to a vote at 2 p.m. following a 30 minute procedural delay.

 

On Wednesday, after all three parties rejected the Tories' federal budget, Ignatieff unveiled the motion that said Canadians had lost confidence in the government.

 

In the meantime, all of the parties have been working to get ready for a campaign, including preparations for campaign buses, candidate signs and drafting key messaging strategies.

 

http://www.ctv.ca/CTVNews/TopStories/20110325/non-confidence-vote-motion-friday-110325/

 

For all of you in America who don't know (or care) about Canadian politics: The Canadian parliament has five major parties, the Conservatives (Right wing), the Liberals (centrists), the New Democrats (left wing), the Bloc Québécois (follows whatever's good for Quebec and are often accused of being separatists in favor of Quebec sovereignty), and the Green Party (all about the environment and currently has no seats in Parliament).

 

To get a majority government, the party must have at least 155 seats in parliament. It is similar to the Legislative houses in the US Government where if one party controls a majority, they essentially decide policy for that election period. But Canadian governments can be removed before a mandated election if the House of Commons clearly isn't getting anything done or there are power plays between parties, as is what happened here.

 

The Harper Government (which was a conservative majority) was toppled by a vote of no-confidence. So Canadians will have to go to the polls this May to elect a new government. Many Canadians have said that they need a Conservative Majority government to get things done with the tough economic times but others think a coalition government between the opposition parties is necessary (which would be the end result of a conservative majority was not elected). This is important because coalition parties are quite unprecedented in Canadian history because most of Canadian parliaments have been majority-party governments between Liberals or Conservatives.

 

As for now, Harper stays on as PM with limited powers until the election on May 2. I sure wish American politics was like that where an election could be called at any time. It gives way more accountability to the people IMO.

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The positive of paraliment style goverments such as Canada and the UK is the election season is only 60-90 days. Here in the states it could be a brutal 6-7 months after 'super tuesday' in March-November when the nomiees of both major parties lock up the delegates.

 

 

With that said, was not Harper only elected at most 2-3 years ago replacing long time PM Chitean?(spelling)It still kind of early and even waste of taxpayer monies to call federal elections in Canada. It should have waited next year at least 2012 to be held. I know in a paralimentary system an election could held anytime within 5 years. However barring a major scandal it should be no earlier than 4 years between elections IMO.

 

PS Tokemon what is Harper approval ratings?

 

 

http://www.ctv.ca/CTVNews/TopStories/20110325/non-confidence-vote-motion-friday-110325/

 

For all of you in America who don't know (or care) about Canadian politics: The Canadian parliament has five major parties, the Conservatives (Right wing), the Liberals (centrists), the New Democrats (left wing), the Bloc Québécois (follows whatever's good for Quebec and are often accused of being separatists in favor of Quebec sovereignty), and the Green Party (all about the environment and currently has no seats in Parliament).

 

To get a majority government, the party must have at least 155 seats in parliament. It is similar to the Legislative houses in the US Government where if one party controls a majority, they essentially decide policy for that election period. But Canadian governments can be removed before a mandated election if the House of Commons clearly isn't getting anything done or there are power plays between parties, as is what happened here.

 

The Harper Government (which was a conservative majority) was toppled by a vote of no-confidence. So Canadians will have to go to the polls this May to elect a new government. Many Canadians have said that they need a Conservative Majority government to get things done with the tough economic times but others think a coalition government between the opposition parties is necessary (which would be the end result of a conservative majority was not elected). This is important because coalition parties are quite unprecedented in Canadian history because most of Canadian parliaments have been majority-party governments between Liberals or Conservatives.

 

As for now, Harper stays on as PM with limited powers until the election on May 2. I sure wish American politics was like that where an election could be called at any time. It gives way more accountability to the people IMO.

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With that said, was not Harper only elected at most 2-3 years ago replacing long time PM Chitean?(spelling)It still kind of early and even waste of taxpayer monies to call federal elections in Canada. It should have waited next year at least 2012 to be held. I know in a paralimentary system an election could held anytime within 5 years. However barring a major scandal it should be no earlier than 4 years between elections IMO.

 

Yeah it was a waste of money, but the opposition parties wanted to create a power play based on some trumped-up "Contempt of Parliament" charge. Its a waste of $300 million CAD and, really, not wanted by the people of Canada in general. We've had four elections in seven years which is a lot. Chrétien was in office from 1993 until 2004. Then Paul Martin took over as a Liberal PM. In 2006, his government was brought down in a vote of no-confidence and the Conservative party took over in the 2006 election. However, the government was unable to get much done so Harper asked for a new election in 2008. The Conservatives got huge gains and the Liberals suffered huge losses, their worse ever. However, it wasn't enough to get to a majority, though it was close. Right after the election, the opposition attempted to pull a fast one and put a vote of no-confidence but Harper "prorogued" the session of Parliament, which was unprecedented at the time, to keep from having another election in a matter of months. The opposition parties attempted to create a coalition but failed. Now, in 2011, after the Conservatives proposed a new budget for next year, none of the opposition parties supported it so they brought a motion of no-confidence. Now we're going to have another election. If the conservatives frame it as the opposition parties wanting to cling to power and are successful, then they will likely get a Conservative Majority government. If this is the case, the opposition will be powerless, essentially. And its pretty obvious that the Liberals don't have a prayer to get enough votes to make a majority, so they would be forced into a minority or coalition situation, which is inherently an unstable government. Oh, politics.

 

PS Tokemon what is Harper approval ratings?

 

His direct approval ratings aren't relevant. What's relevant are the party's overall ratings. You can see the polls here:

 

http://www.ctv.ca/servlet/HTMLTemplate?tf=ctv/mini/miniHubDefault.html&cf=ctv/mar/ctv.cfg&&s_name=election2011&page=polltracker&hub=SpecialEvent7

 

Notice the changes over time and the drastic changes around election times.

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Oh Ok. I do occaional follow politics from Canada (also the UK as well) as I have relatives/family in both countries.

My relatives live in the Toronto area.

 

Still a little suprised that a vote of no confidence and a new election being held only 3 1/2 years later after the previous national elections.

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Still a little suprised that a vote of no confidence and a new election being held only 3 1/2 years later after the previous national elections.

 

As surprised as the rest of us.

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Harper is Canadas equivalent to our George Bush. When they wanted to get rid of this guy in 2008 they were going to do the same with a no confidence vote but before they got to vote, he asked the governer general to ask permission from the queen of England to dissolve parliment and she granted the OK. Now its happening all over again but this time the vote actually went through.

 

They need to kick this guy to the curb.

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Harper is Canadas equivalent to our George Bush. When they wanted to get rid of this guy in 2008 they were going to do the same with a no confidence vote but before they got to vote, he asked the governer general to ask permission from the queen of England to dissolve parliment and she granted the OK. Now its happening all over again but this time the vote actually went through.

 

They need to kick this guy to the curb.

 

That's not how it went down. In early 2008, the government was in gridlock because the parties wouldn't agree on anything. Thinking that the Conservatives could gain in the election, Harper called an election on his own accord. His risk proved beneficial as the Conservatives gained greatly while the Liberals lost greatly. It wasn't until *after* the 2008 election that the opposition parties tried to bring a vote of no-confidence. It is then that Harper decided to end the session of parliament until the new year a day before the scheduled vote. So, in a sense, yes, he did dodge the vote then, but by the time they got to 2009, the so-called "opposition coalition" fell apart and no new vote of no-confidence was called.

 

BTW, who the Prime Minister is is solely the choice of the ruling party. There is no elected Head of State as there is in the USA, a common misconception. The Head of State in Canada is the Governor General, which acts on behalf of the Throne. The Queen rarely, if ever, gets involved in government and is just a figurehead at this point. The Prime Minister is simply the face for the ruling government. If you want to topple him, then you have to topple the entire party and/or his riding in Calgary. But they love him in Alberta, so that's not gonna happen.

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With the world focusing on the death of Osama, people across Canada on May 2, 2011 went to the polls. Looks like Stephen Harper "Tories' will win a majority in the paralement in Ottawa and thus re-elected as the country's PM.

I am sure Tokemon will have something to say.

 

 

 

http://www.cbc.ca/

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I am not an 'expert' or know that much about politics 'north of the border.' I will stand by my ealier comments that this is bs on calling a national election just about 3 years after the last one. At a time like most of the world Canada is recovering from a terrible recession to wate tens of millions(I know it was forced by Harper's opposing parties)is a damn shame.

 

Unless the PM has to leave thru office via a death or resignation due to scandal it should be a minium 4 years before you call for elections.:tdown:

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I am not an 'expert' or know that much about politics 'north of the border.' I will stand by my ealier comments that this is bs on calling a national election just about 3 years after the last one. At a time like most of the world Canada is recovering from a terrible recession to wate tens of millions(I know it was forced by Harper's opposing parties)is a damn shame.

 

Unless the PM has to leave thru office via a death or resignation due to scandal it should be a minium 4 years before you call for elections.:tdown:

 

This election was forced due to the opposition holding more seats then the Conservatives. This time around it will be different, dont look for another federal election in Canada for another 4 years now.

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Indeed. Ironic that the two parties that called for the new election, the Liberals and Bloc Quebecois, got completely decimated in this election. People were *not* happy with them. Alas, Quebec is fickle and decided to vote NDP this time. We'll see if that holds up because having a major federalist party with separatist overtones could be quite dangerous for party and/or national unity. Regardless, the Conservative Majority ensures no elections until 2015.

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Indeed. Ironic that the two parties that called for the new election, the Liberals and Bloc Quebecois, got completely decimated in this election. People were *not* happy with them. Alas, Quebec is fickle and decided to vote NDP this time. We'll see if that holds up because having a major federalist party with separatist overtones could be quite dangerous for party and/or national unity. Regardless, the Conservative Majority ensures no elections until 2015.

 

 

My last comments for now on this topic is this. While I personally think Quebec should stay in Canada (think of like US states like Hawaii which is cultrally different than say Alabama they still form 1 nation)the issue should be settled once and for while. Why have the talk/elections every 20 years on the status of French Canada?

 

Places like Montreal and Quebec now has a large non-French Canadian population (including a growing Latino and Afro-Carribean aka Black Carribean)that been moving in last 20 years. Again I am not an expert on this issue but if Quebec did leave Canada, they have take into account a growing non-White(Anglo or French Canadian) population up there.

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My last comments for now on this topic is this. While I personally think Quebec should stay in Canada (think of like US states like Hawaii which is cultrally different than say Alabama they still form 1 nation)the issue should be settled once and for while. Why have the talk/elections every 20 years on the status of French Canada?

 

Places like Montreal and Quebec now has a large non-French Canadian population (including a growing Latino and Afro-Carribean aka Black Carribean)that been moving in last 20 years. Again I am not an expert on this issue but if Quebec did leave Canada, they have take into account a growing non-White(Anglo or French Canadian) population up there.

 

The reason is in years past Quebec has always been the swing vote in Parliament for decades. Prime Ministers and their parties had to pander to whatever Quebec wanted or else they would not get elected. This has changed in this last election. A *Western Provence* prime minister and party have been elected in a * majority*, and almost the entire Provence of Quebec voted *against* the Conservatives. The balance of power has shifted to the Western Provences which is a very interesting shift in Canadian Politics.

 

As for the separatist movement, the Francophone separatists need to have *something* to be contrary to the rest of the Anglophone country. So they choose the "Opposite" party that English Canada chose, the NDP against the Conservatives. But this will cause division in the party itself, I'm predicting. Separatists won't ever be satisfied until they literally secede from Canada because they don't want everything to be preceded in English before French. They won't get along because they refuse to. English Canada tries its hardest, but in the end, Quebecers don't give any leeway. The onus is on them to work for better national unity, IMO.

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I sure wish American politics was like that where an election could be called at any time. It gives way more accountability to the people IMO.

 

That would be very interesting to say the least. I wonder what our country would be like right now if that was policy?

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